|Previous blogs in this Series:|
Failing to understand the market, inadequate research.
It is quite possible that you have a groundbreaking idea, and that is what entrepreneurship starts with. Think of any great entrepreneur like co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, he had an idea to socially connect people. Almost all the great discoveries are a result of one simple and sorted out idea. But, there’s a big fat but. There will be limitations and complications if you don’t understand the industry where you are going to pitch in your idea and all the efforts will be worthless and won’t produce any positive outcome. The market, any market in any industry is filled with complex yet pretty basic principles, however, the macro concepts of every market are different and every market requires different and specific approach. In order to succeed you’ve to identify the basics and comprehend with the obvious.
Inability to target right audience
The incapability to understand and follow the rules and regulations of a particular industry will also affect your marketing campaign, not only will it send a distorted idea but will not sit right with the consumer or target audience for that matter. Business strategies are planned and executed while considering the demand and need of a consumer. Marketing campaigns are designed to incorporate the glimpse of products and services that you’ll provide but it will be successful only when you are capable of processing the expectations of consumers both practically and rationally.
Technically speaking, you won’t evolve and prosper in any industry without properly synchronized marketing campaign and your marketing campaign won’t serve its purpose without your thorough appreciation of the market.
So if you’re planning to start your business or you’ve already started one in any industry, it is about time you carefully understand the market and its ware bouts. As for me, when I started my business, I had intact knowledge about it. Well, obviously I wasn’t the master of it, but what I had was, a complete understanding of it. I knew what good services are constituted of, and I know what bad services look like. I was aware of the pitfalls and highlights, had the ability to comprehend what could possibly go wrong and where can I create opportunities for myself. But above all that I understood clients’ journey and their expectations from me.
Knowing is owning
One of the famous catchphrases of a popular TV show, ‘Sherlock’ and it is my personal favorite too. See, the more you know about the market and its people, the more you connect with their needs, and the more you shall earn profit– as simple as that. Making yourself aware of the industry’s market and the demand and supply mechanism is one of ensuring your high return on investment. In order to accomplish this task, you can surround yourself with people who not only know the market but they are born in it. In simple terms, they are called experts. Because businesses do fail for this very reason and this is exactly what you want to avoid. Their expertise in the specific field will enable you to get a firm hold on the business and it will ensure that you’re moving in the right direction ahead. Right guidance is necessary and not only it keeps your business development in check but it also ensures your profit maximization.
You must aware yourself with “Porter’s five forces of analysis“, and “SWOT analysis“. The Porter’s five forces of analysis are — Industry rivalry, Threat of substitutes, Bargaining power of buyers, Bargaining power of suppliers, and Barriers to entry. Basically, Porter wanted everyone to cross-check self-position against potential threats. The SWOT analysis is… Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It covers overall analysis of self, what you can do, and what you should aware of to protects yourself.
But, I am not a big fan of these theories. I am sorry for being so harsh. These theories are obviously world’s best theories and they are not just theories, but very well applied practical science. Following these theories is extremely important when you are surrounded by massive competition and in a saturated market. I am a big fan of being an innovator.
Innovation is the key
Innovation is that ONE thing which can take a newbie to the heights where most successful business can look like a dwarf. But having new innovation require super deep analysis of the industry. When it comes to innovating new technology in any industry, the best way is to focus on consumers.
I strongly believe that every business is unique in itself. The market or industry could be full of direct competitors but still, every business is somehow unique in some or the other way. The reason is simple and straightforward… every businessman is unique. It is impossible for any two people to be identical and produce an identical product or build an identical business. Hence, there are some strengths and some weaknesses of each business. It is all about finding your strengths and weaknesses. Strength needs to be made further stronger and well blended with industry demands.
One of the easiest and effective approaches to innovating new thing in any industry is… cross-pollination. All you need to do is… make two lists- (a) list of applied methods, offers, various mini services, the different ways to provide these services WITHIN your industry, and (b) list of applied methods, offers, different ways to provide services OUTSIDE your industry which are the SUPER SUCCESS. Then match these lists to find out what is that super success way to provide service or applied method or offers which is still NOT tried in your industry. It may happen that one method proved super successful in on industry also become super successful in other industry. For example – home delivery of pizza (by Dominos). The trend was started in food industry then tried in almost every industry and proved to be equally successful everywhere.
- Ready some popular industry analysis related books. Surf internet, gather some knowledge on how to do industry analysis.
- Take advice from industry experts, coaches, and mentors. Make someone your business guru. [This is the best tip I can give]
- Communicate with other people in the industry (especially, the experienced one), make them your close friend and try to benefit them without losing your business, they will return the favor by providing industry knowledge to the minimum.
- Go for conducting surveys, keep on asking questions… how, what, why, when, which etc.
Industry knowledge is a bare minimum thing one should have if he or she is looking for some success or even for just surviving. This is not the extremely difficult job to do, but it is a difficult job for sure. It only appears to be easy. This is a big trap. Industry knowledge appears to be very simple, but it could be very hard earned.